Minnesota Orchestra, Bernstein: Candide Suite, Etc.

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Who said opera was dead? Not Bernstein.

Voltaire's picaresque and satirical tale was set by Bernstein with his own brand of satire: its set pieces send up musical genres and styles from the waltz and tango to an acrobatic showoff soprano aria. Candide opened on Broadway in 1956, and, being perhaps a shade too mannered and highbrow for Rodgers and Hammerstein fans, ran only two months. But the score snaps and sparkles throughout: Bernstein was not only a brilliantly skilled musical chameleon (blurring the line between opera and musical like no one else), but a master of catchy tunes. Eiji Oue, who made a splash as conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, brings a brash yet romantic verve (there's a love story in there too) to his recording of imaginatively-arranged instrumental excerpts from the musical.